ccording to the study
From Kindergarten Through
Third Grade: Children’s
twenty-nine percent of all
surveyed in the longitudinal
study were able to make
what was stated in text.
Connections for Comprehension
With the goal of improving students’ reading comprehension, Connections for Comprehension
activates the following research-
based connections as comprehension-building tools: genres
and text features, as well as vocabulary, content, text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections.
What Is Prior Knowledge and How Does It Work?
Prior-knowledge activation is the catalyst that makes these
comprehension connections occur. It is a strategy that
proficient readers use to help their interactions with texts become memorable and relevant. “Prior knowledge affects
comprehension by creating expectations about the
content, thus directing attention to relevant parts,
enabling the reader to infer and elaborate what is
being read, to fill in missing or incomplete
information in the text, and to use existing mental
structures to construct memory representations
that facilitate later use, recall, and reconstructions
of text” (NICHD, 2000, p. 4-84).
esearchers Pearson, Roehler, Dole, and Duffy
(1992) summarize what research has found about
prior-knowledge activation (p. 155).
1. Students with greater prior knowledge
comprehend and remember more.
2. Merely having prior knowledge is not enough
to improve comprehension; the knowledge
must be activated, implying a strong
metacognitive dimension to its use.
3. Young readers and poor readers often do
not activate their prior knowledge.